I wanted to take a moment and thank my readers, and in particular those of you who have commented with words of encouragement and care. I came to blogging to put words out, but I have received so much in return and I am so grateful for this community.
The past several weeks have seen some really difficult moments, and those are the ones I tend to write about, but they are only spots in an otherwise lovely life that I am grateful to live. I want to take this opportunity to share some of the things that I am so thankful for, and the things that make me joyful and happy to be alive.
- I have a great job. It isn’t super high paying or even my dream job, but I work for a law firm that helps people, that specializes in working with survivors of domestic violence and helping them stay safe. It’s work that feels meaningful, and I am happy to be here. I have really fantastic co-workers that I am going to miss when I go back to school in the fall.
- I have the amazing privilege of having access to all the education I want. I have been accepted with full funding to my first choice PhD program, and I had the same situation with my Master’s. Speaking of my Master’s, I am so very privileged to have had the opportunity to get a degree that I feel is so important, but does not immediately serve me financially. I think women’s and gender studies programs are hugely important, but I am also well aware that the job opportunities for graduates of these programs are few and far between. I knew going in to the program that it would be a stepping stone, and I feel so grateful that I had the financial security to place my values ahead of an immediate career. I believe that the program I was in made me a better person, and I know it will serve me in my future. I am so grateful to my wonderful partner that she was willing to support me– financially, emotionally, and in pretty much any other way you can think of– while I pursued my dream.
- Speaking of my partner, the number one thing that brings me joy lately is my family.
This lady brings me joy. She’s cute, right? And she’s a fantastic partner. Last night I emerged from the nursery after getting the kiddo to sleep to find that the kitchen had been completely cleaned. After that, we went outside and I read to her from The Color of Magic while she spread mulch around the bushes in the front yard. It was a good night.
This cutie pie also brings me joy. She is the light of my life. These photos are from this morning. We had a nice cuddle and play time before I had to head in to work, and I can’t count how many times she made me smile in just those 30 minutes. She’s getting so big, and so capable! She’s pointing, “reading” books, and is really into birds.
She has some prints of Darwin’s finches on the nursery wall, and it is our new ritual that we have to say goodnight to them every night. Along with the bird mobile, the star mobile, the color wheel, and the plankton night light. After that, it’s amazing how much more quickly she’ll settle. It’s like she needs to acknowledge all the things that she loves before sleeping, or she’s just too distracted by them to be able to relax. It’s pretty great. She waves at them, which just slays me every time. I’ve learned to love bedtime, as I’ve realized it’s the time when I get the most uninterrupted, spontaneous snuggles. It’s so wonderful. Not every night is great, she definitely has had her moments, but the last few nights have been so much smoother. That’s another thing I’m grateful for!I feel like I’m really growing as a mother as she grows into toddlerhood. I’m learning how to better meet her where she is, how to figure out what will help her settle or what will make her happy. I’m learning how to stay relaxed, so she stays relaxed. It’s exciting.
I’m really looking forward to the fall, when my schedule will change and I’ll have more time during the week to spend with her. I’m hoping MamaRae will let me have the morning “shift” on Mondays so I can take her to the library for story time.
I’ve been missing my sisters like mad lately, but we’ve been in close contact so that’s been bringing me a lot of joy as well. We’re far apart– The nearest one lives in Colorado, then there’s one in Wisconsin and one in Pennsylvania– but they’re my best friends. My baby sister (who is not a baby, she’s 25) posted something on Facebook the other day that said “The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and believe the other deserves the world.” I saw it and all I could think was, “That’s how I feel about my sisters!!!” These are seriously some of my favorite people in the world, right here:
In any case, my point today is that life is hard, but there are things all around me that make the hard parts easier to bear. It’s a good life, when it comes down to it.